i have been a vegetarian for about six weeks now.
why have i decided to be a vegetarian?
simply put: it’s healthier. i don’t like meat that much.
the added benefits?
i don’t feel guilty about eating animals, and it’s better for the environment.
however, as harsh as it sounds, one person does not make that much difference. what really counts is getting large number of people to give up meat, and that’s not part of my agenda. this choice is for my benefit and my reasons. personally, i have a problem with animal cruelty to the extent that eating meat bothered me. does it bother me when other people eat meat? a little, but i feel hypocritical to say so since i was one of them not too long ago. it’s a personal decision and i can only speak for my own experience.
and i love it so far.
i like lambs. i don't want to eat them.
and i don't want chikens to live like this. images from "food inc." helped solidify my decision.
what were my initial concerns?
there are certain foods i could not imagine giving up – burgers, spaghetti with meat sauce, bacon and sausages for full english…but when i realized that i can substitute veggie burgers for burgers, quorn for ground beef, and veggie sausages, mushrooms, and tomatoes for bacon and sausages, this was no longer a problem.
i’m also quite the foodie and was worried about missing out on interesting gourmet options. in oxford at least, there are plenty of delicious vegetarian options that i hardly notice. in my college hall, the vegetarian dish is almost always much better than the meat one anyway (for this, i am quite fortunate), and i would opt for it even before i decided to commit to vegetarianism.
gourmet burger kitchen does amazing veggie burgers.
how do i manage to eat a balanced diet without meat?
i have done some research, including monitoring my daily intake, and was surprised to find that i have been consuming enough protein without meat without even trying to replace it. i love eggs and beans (and nutella), and eat enough every day to fulfill my daily requirement. what i lacked was actually fruits and vegetables, which are now much more incorporated into my diet. it was not difficult to start eating healthily once i became better aware of what healthy entails.
while nutritional needs vary person to person, i use this chart as a basic guideline.
calling myself a vegetarian was sort of scary, just like calling myself a minimalist. there were periods before i decided to commit (to both) in which i shied away from the idea and didn’t even consider it. ultimately, the extent to which you are a vegetarian or a minimalist is up to you. some vegetarians eat fish, for example. now, i don’t like fish enough for that to be my exception. my initial plan was to eat meat occasionally when i wanted it – better that than keeping a few cravings from calling myself a full vegetarian – but i haven’t even wanted to do that.
where to look for help
many of my favorite bloggers are vegetarian or vegan and have shared their stories and offered advice:
leo babauta – mnmlist
angela liddon – oh she glows
alicia silverstone – the kind life